Remembrances Told by Loved Ones of 9/11 Victims (Part 1)

Alena Sesinova and Barbara Cattano embrace on a beach in the Hamptons. They are looking out at the ocean on a clear day.
Alena Sesinova and Barbara Cattano on the beach in the Hamptons. Gift of Barbara Cattano in memory of her life partner, Alena Sesinova.

This two part series highlights a selection of the diverse love stories in the 9/11 Memorial Museum's audio collection. Drawn from longer oral histories, an edited portion of audio is selected to play in the memorial exhibition. Below are the stories of two 9/11 victims as described by their loved ones. 

Alena Sesinova and Barbara Cattano in 1999.Alena Sesinova & Barbara Cattano
Alena Sesinova was born in 1944 in Czechoslovakia and immigrated to the United States as a young woman. She settled in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. with her partner, Barbara Cattano. Sesinova studied English and worked while completing a computer science degree. On Sept. 11, she was on the 96th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center at Marsh & McLennan, where she worked as a systems analyst.

Cattano remembers when they first met:
"We fell in love almost instantly. We met for brunch. I guess it was a Saturday that we had brunch and Monday morning, there was a dozen red roses at my office from her and that was that. I still remember what she wore that day, believe it or not, after, I don’t know how many, 28 years, but it was just that look, her eyes, and that wonderful smile. And when she looked at me, and she had that smile—it was over. Or just beginning, maybe—maybe that’s what it was. And we were together for 22 years, or actually, one month short of 22 years."

 

Norman and Susan Rossinow in 2001.

Norman & Susan Rossinow
Norman Rossinow lived in Cedar Grove, N.J. with his wife Susan and was working as a senior vice president at Aon Corporation. On Sept. 11, he was working on the 105th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Susan Rossinow remembers their early courtship:
"He answered my personal ad in a local Jewish newspaper. And when I called him, I said, 'Look, if you’re not normal, just tell me now.' And he said, 'How do I know if you’re normal?' And so we decided to meet without wondering who was the normal one. And then our third date, he cooked me dinner, which more or less sewed up the whole relationship. I was coming to his house for dinner, and I had my windows open, and I could hear music really loud playing as I came up the street and somebody drumming. And that was Norman. And when I walked in the door, I found him drumming away, and it was lovely. That’s how he introduced me to him playing the drums, but you could hear him down the block. He loved music—any type of music—he was very diversified in his choices. From rappers to jazz singers, you name it, he found a song that he liked."

Remembrances Told by Loved Ones of 9/11 Victims (Part 2)

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Bill to Federally Recognize 9/11 Memorial Passes House

A reflecting pool of the 9/11 Memorial is seen illuminated at night. Surrounding buildings, including One World Trade Center, are lit up in the background.

New Jersey Congressman Tom MacArthur announced on Tuesday that his legislation to designate the 9/11 Memorial as a national memorial has passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Remembrances Told by Loved Ones of 9/11 Victims (Part 2)

Granvilette and Howard Kestenbaum smile at one another on their wedding day.

This two part series highlights a selection of the diverse love stories in the 9/11 Memorial Museum's audio collection. Drawn from longer oral histories, an edited portion of audio is selected to play in the memorial exhibition. Below are the stories of two 9/11 victims as described by their loved ones.

View Blog Post